This is a prose/ short story type piece, which is different from the usual poems I post on here.
The Day Ends with Algebra
by Allie Marie
That means there’s 28 minutes left before I’m out of this hell hole. My teacher is explaining how to do some type of algebraic equations with two variables as if one wasn’t confusing enough. Now there’s a’s and b’s; x’s and y’s and whatever other letters they deem most valuable. The old faded, barely red marker squeaks as she writes against the shinny, smooth surface of the white board.
2x + 5y = 38
Blackboards aren’t used anymore, you know. White boards add a certain amount of brightness to the room transcending an illusion of just how wonderful this place is. And, they’d rather burn our minds with the stench of marker, than attack our lungs with clouds of dust.
Only 23 long minutes left. Brooke Waski, sitting in front of me, is texting on her cell phone. It’s enveloped in her purse like a secret letter no one can see. The art of passing notes has evolved into some badly typed words on a shiny interface. Like G8, LOL, TTYL, and whatever other shortcuts manage to develop like rapid wildfire. I think I was born into the wrong generation.
17 minutes left now. Drew Lengston is looking at me with those sparkling baby blue eyes of his. He thinks I don’t notice. He thinks they don’t notice. Drew’s too cool for me with his green and white football jersey. The sculptured muscles of his arms revealed by the short sleeves of his jersey are like a form of Grecian art. He’ll never be with me. We’ll keep glimpsing at each other, creating images in our minds.
Exactly 20 minutes left. The teacher, looking for her next victim, asks Drew for an answer behind some equation; the value of some letter. He stares at her, making an “ah” sound with his open mouth as if he looking for the answer to be dragged away into his soul. But, he’s left without an answer. She moves on again like a hunter searching for her prey. This time to Paige who flips her eyes upward from the hidden message on her cell phone, and twirls her golden hair around her finger dumbfounded. My mind mumbles prayers and saving graces. Then, Rob with his silver rimmed round glasses and greasy brown hair raises his hand strongly and proudly like he’s giving some kind of salute. I think I’ve just been saved.
It’s slowly getting to that time. 14 minutes to go now. I’m writing my name and Drew’s in big loopy letters in my notebook overruling the lines that were given to me. I hunch my body forward over my notebook like a gargoyle as I write so no one else can see.
8 minutes. Hallelujah! I look to the window to my right. The sun’s reflecting on the cars in the parking lot. They look like their glowing. A gangly boy in a leather jacket is walking with his arm around a petite girl with peroxide hair. They walk with purpose and a mission. Somehow they’ve managed to escape just a few minutes early. They sneak into an old rusted tan car, back up amongst a sea of vehicles, and drive off as if no one in the world could ever stop them.
3 minutes and there’s that rustling. The stuffing of papers, notebooks, pencils, pens, and textbooks into backpacks and oversized purses works like a domino effect over the classroom. Whispers cascade in lines and circles. Talk of who likes who, who did what, who’s planning on doing what ensues. The teacher grapples for control in the final countdown raising her voice slightly to give the final mission. Homework.
And again, I’ve somehow survived that regimented escape into some type of freedom.